Leslie's Omnibus


How would you 'splain this one to your boss when you couldn't make it in to work on Monday?

Maybe this was Judith Miller's real source.

Donut Go Gently...

... into that good night. Godspeed, Mr. Vale.

Traveling Companions

Laurence Simon is asking the cats about their New Year's resolutions:

Tiger Boots: "I resolve to pose for strictly artistic cheesecake this year. And lots of it."

The Divine Miss Marilyn: "I resolve to stop running (as much) from the Evil Mummy Paparazzo... as long as she brings me the treats I so richly deserve."


Rubber-Necking -- Bad Santa Edition

Note: I'm moving this to the top until December 25th, and will update as new evidence of "Santarchy" arises.

This past Saturday evening, I stumbled onto the most amazing sight -- a cabal of Santas, clearly up to nefarious exploits!

What's this???


Lots and lots of Santas!

Suddenly, they were everywhere!

People were so amazed that traffic stopped dead in its tracks.

The photo is blurry, but this guy looked kind of familiar.


He said he was in Florida...

What did I learn from this?

1. It's impossible to get a clear shot of dozens of drunken Santas in the dark. They won't stop wobbling.

2. They left the reindeer at home and commandeered a schoolbus for the night, because...

3. Sometimes even Santa needs a designated driver.


Update: In a serendipitously timed email, the Sweetheart of Shell Knobb, MO sent me the Sober Santa Game.

She says, "Move Santa-by the arrows on your keyboard-towards the beer...you will scorewhen you hit the glass and Santa will become more tipsy! Keep him off the tracks -- he'll get electrocuted and the game will be over. Sometimes an item will also appear briefly. If you can get Santa to hit it, it'll sober him up some. It's a really funny, quick game. Have fun!"

Update 2: Apparently "Santarchy" abounds. At least the Chicago Santas above were filled with the right sort of Christmas spirit(s). God rest ye merry, gentlemen!

(A tip of the cap to Old Crankypants.)

He knows if we've been bad or good, but, for goodness' sake, who's keeping tabs on whether Santa's been naughty or nice?

Bad or good? Now you decide.

(A tip of the cap to Jen(nifer).)

Santa's a scoundrel? A saint? A sweetheart? A sack-wielder?

(A tip of the cap to PJ.)

Aw, jeeze! Now Frosty is getting into the act???

More info on Santa than I really needed to hear.

Evil Pope Santa? (He may be the world's most wonderful guy, but that photo is downright frightening.)

That naughty, naughty Santa is up to tricks again in Paris, London and Hong Kong.

Forget the sleigh ride -- apparently Santa phones it in this year.

Santablog is coming to town?

Oh, no! Santa's collapse causes need for crisis counselors?

He's even got his own computer virus!

Wanna be Santa's designated driver?

Liar, liar, pants on fire! Everyone knows he lives at the North Pole. See?

Now go visit the Carnival of Christmas. It only happens once a year, you know.

Traveling Companions

The Divine Miss Marilyn gave me an early Christmas gift -- she actually showed off her lovely profile.

But then, of course, she had to express her opinion of Mummy's camera.

The Divine Miss Marilyn says, "All the blessings of the season to you and yours! (And there better be a catnip mouse in my stocking on Sunday morning.)"

Don't forget to visit the Friday Ark!


For my whiskey-loving friends (especially Eric and Ellison), Balblair Scotch is hosting its annual Haggis Hunt. Prizes include bottles of Balblair Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky, St. Andrew's Cross, Adapted 100% lambswool rug, Scotsman calendars, HaggisHunt merchandise and passes to The Scotsman's Digital Archive. If you snare a Golden haggis you'll have a chance to win our grand prize: two nights of luxury at the world famous Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire.

Go ahead. Have some fun!

I sure wish the Anchoress' neighbor was my neighbor instead. Now there's someone who'd be fun to chat with!

Ah! This is good news:

Your Christmas Stocking Will Be Filled With Little Wrapped Presents
You've made Santa a very happy fellow this year.Don't worry - what happens at the North Pole stays at the North Pole!


Roadside Diversion

Ferdy once again hosts the Carnival of the Vicious, Invading Paleface Bastards (Illinois residents). Go see what folks are thinkin' in the Land of Lincoln.


T1G has "smacked" me with a meme: The gist of it is "name five movies that you love, that say 'Christmas' to you." For what it's worth, I'm going to include some TV Christmas specials in here, too.

1. Holiday Inn

I did a lot of babysitting when I was in Junior High and High School. That means I spent a LOT of time watching old black & white movies after 11:00 p.m. Love, love, loved the music, the costumes and the dancing. What's not to love about Der Bingle and Danny Kaye?

2. A Christmas Story

"You'll shoot your eye out." Was there ever a more "Mom" line in a movie? Plus, like Ralphie, I was kind of a geeky kid. In fact, when I was really little, I wore snowsuits like that. Ugh!

3. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas

I am an absolute sucker for old Christmas specials.

4. Miracle on 34th Street

It always makes me cry. Need I say more?

5. Elf

Will Ferrell just cracked me up with his child-like, over-the-top exuberance.

I'll admit it -- when it comes to Christmas, I'm just a kid at heart.

Now it's my turn. I'm tagging Moogie, the Chai-rista, Dana, Og, GuyK and... Catfish. Hmmm. This ought to be interesting!

Chartered Excursion -- Stillman Valley, IL

Still haven't signed up for the January 8th blogmeet?

Okay. Let me -- er, Neo-Neocon -- give you a few good reasons to attend:

The following pre-conference theories of mine seemed generally to be borne out:

1) bloggers can talk; in fact, most bloggers would rather talk than eat

2) bloggers tend to be intense

3) bloggers include a high proportion of night people and/or people who don't sleep all that much

4) most bloggers look like their photos--except me. I actually don't have an apple in from of my face. [Or, in my case, a camera]

Things that were surprises:

1) a higher-than-expected proportion of bloggers are smokers

2) you can't tell who's short and who's tall from a photo....

Further observations:

1) When I say bloggers can talk, I mean talk. We're talking serious talk here. Stamina, breadth, depth, decibel level. Get a group together, and it's not for the faint of heart--if you don't jump in quickly and vigorously, you may never get the floor, because the competition is hot and the topics change at the speed of light as one thought follows another, like group chain-smoking. Those with natural projective qualities of voice have an advantage here; those of us with naturally quieter voices stand in danger of getting hoarse....

I find it an extraordinary experience to meet people backwards: that is, to meet their minds first and their bodies second. You get to know people in a totally different way as, day after day, you read what they are thinking without ever having met them in the flesh.You don't even realize how many preconceptions (and perhaps misconceptions) you are building up until you meet the person him/herself. Sometimes the meeting shatters those preconceptions utterly. Far more often, however, the person you meet is both similar and somewhat different from the one you had expected: younger, older; livelier, shyer; more fidgety, calmer; funnier, more solemn. Then you superimpose the new template on the old and merge the two, and now you know the person in a fuller, rounder sense.

I'm telling you, you'll have a great time.


I was in a sorority when I was in college. That swinging elf in my sidebar nudged an odd memory of those days out from under the cobwebs:

We had a number of drinking songs we were fond of, one with the refrain,

Then there was [insert sister's name here]
Swinging from the outhouse door
Without her nightie
Waiting for the Phi Sig's
(They got her nightie)
Never, ever will go home...
Ba dum bum!

I'm just saying... it's weirding me out.

Tootin' the Horn

I haven't been tempted to post ads before, because I blog for my own pleasure. But I was directly contacted by Anchor Bay Media and M80 about posting an ad for The Happy Elf.

Okay, I admit it. I'm a sucker for Christmas specials. And Harry Connick, Jr. For posting a copy of the ad, I get a copy of the DVD to give to my sweet nieces.


Chartered Excursion -- Stillman Valley, IL

Are you coming to the blogmeet on January 8th? T1G needs to know your choice of menu, ASAP.

(Looks like another meat marathon, if you ask me.)

Still thinking about it??? Stop thinking and just sign up. It's going to be a blast.

Support Your (Not So) Local Blogger

Joanne Jacobs will be in Chicago tomorrow to discuss her new book with Milt Rosenberg on WGN Radio (AM 720).

I'm guessing they'll be in the studio with the windows on Michigan Avenue in the Tribune Tower. They'll be on from 9:00-11:00 central time. Tune in! (And if you're in the city, stop by the studio and make silly faces through the window at them!)

Help Garrett pass the potato through all 50 states.

C'mon! Be a sport.

Road Conditions

So much

for light


in Chicago



From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

From Catfish, but posted for my BlogDaddy:

Proof Of Identity?

Einstein dies and goes to heaven. At the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter tells him, "You look like Einstein, but you have NO idea the lengths that some people will go to sneak into Heaven. Can you prove who you really are?"

Einstein ponders for a few seconds and asks, "Could I have a blackboard and some chalk?"

Saint Peter snaps his fingers and a blackboard and chalk instantly appear.

Einstein proceeds to describe with arcane mathematics and symbols his theory of relativity.

Saint Peter is suitably impressed. "You really ARE Einstein!" he says. "Welcome to heaven!"

The next to arrive is Salvador Dali. Once again, Saint Peter asks for credentials.

Salvador Dali asks, "Mind if I use that blackboard and chalk?"

Saint Peter says, "Go ahead."

Salvador Dali erases Einstein's equations and sketches a truly stunning picture with just a few strokes of chalk.

Saint Peter claps. "Surely you are the great artist you claim to be!" he says. "Come on in!"

Then Saint Peter looks up and sees George W. Bush. Saint Peter scratches his head, strokes his beard, and says, "Einstein and Salvador Dali both managed to prove their identity. How can you prove yours?"

George W. looks bewildered and says, "Who are Einstein and Salvador Dali?"

Saint Peter sighs and says, "Come on in, George."

From Deborah S.

Mrs. Rosenberg, a fine Jewish matron from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, found herself stranded-late one night at a fashionable southern resort...one that did not, ordinarily, admit Jews.

When she inquired, at the Front Desk about a room, the desk clerk, looked at his book and said, "Sorry, no rooms. This hotel is full."

Suspicious, about his mind set, Mrs.Rosenberg said, "I beg your pardon ...your sign says, you have vacancies."

The desk clerk stammered and said, curtly, "Mostly, I shouldn't say this, but you know, we do not admit Jews. Now, if you will try...on the other side of town..."

Mrs. Rosenberg stiffened, noticeably, & said, "I'll have you know ...recently, I converted to your religion."

Sensing something, the desk clerk said, "Oh, yeah!? Well, let me give you a little test! How was Jesus born?"

"That's easy" Mrs. Rosenberg replied, "He was born to a virgin named Mary ...in a little town, called Bethlehem."

"Not 'Bad'!" replied, the clerk... "Tell me, more."

Checking her memory, Mrs. Rosenberg said, "He was born in a manger!"

"That's right," said the hotel clerk. And ...why was he born, in a manger?"

Holding her head defiantly high, Mrs. Rosenberg, reared-back, and said loudly for all to hear, "Because a Putz, like you ...in the hotel, ...wouldn't give a Jewish lady a room for the night.

Now, here's one for the other side of the political aisle. (We try our best to offend everyone.)

Hillary Clinton goes to a primary school in upstate New York to talk about the world. After her talk she offers question time.

One little boy puts up his hand, and the Senator asks him what his name is.


"And what is your question, Kenneth?"

"I have three questions:

1 ... Whatever happened to your medical health care plan?

2 ... Why would you run for President after your husband shamed the office?

3 ... Whatever happened to all those things you took when you left the White House?"

Just then the bell rings for recess. Hillary Clinton informs the kiddies that they will continue after recess. When they resume Hillary says, "OK, where were we? Oh, that's right, question time. Who has a question?"

A different little boy puts his hand up.

Hillary points him out and asks him what his name is.


"And what is your question, Larry?"

"I have 5 questions:

1 ... Whatever happened to your medical health care plan?

2 ... Why would you run for President after your husband shamed the office?

3 ... Whatever happened to all those things you took when you left the White House?

4 ... Why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early?


5 ... What happened to Kenneth?"


Well this is a helluva way to tag someone with a meme:

1. Finish the sentence: "I wish I ..." -- Basically, pretend you had up to three wishes to change something about you. A restriction is that cannot wish to change someone else. For example, you can say; "I wish I weighed 30 pounds less." But this wish is not for this meme; "I wish my spouse weighed 30 pounds less."

2. If you are reading this, you are "tagged" with this meme.

It is not necessary to send me any notice. I just wanna spread some wishes around.
I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener.

I wish I were better at math and science.

I wish I had finished a degree... in just about anything.

Okay. Your turn.

Mog is right. Some of my earliest childhood memories of Christmas are also of church... and the sacred music that accompanies it.

When I was young, my family went to church here. I was an angel in the Christmas pageant when I was about five or six. I remember my mother driving herself almost insane over making wings and a halo for me to wear. The snowy white cassock I wore. Lustily singing Away in a Manger. The Christmas story becoming real to me. Each child who participated in the pageant received a huge navel orange afterward. It was a luscious and precious gift.

We moved to Glen Ellyn, Illinois when I was ten, and attended this church until I graduated from high school. I was always active in youth choir, and loved the music of the season. For a little church (roughly 200 families), we had an outstanding music program.

When I graduated from junior high to high school, I was invited to join the adult choir. One year, our director was a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra chorus. That year, we did the entire Christmas Messiah, complete with orchestra (amateur adults and kids from my high school, both church members and volunteers) and soloists from the CSO itself. We practiced and practiced and practiced. And the results were fantastic. I can close my eyes and feel the entire congregation surge to its feet when the first notes of the Alleluia Chorus rang out, the joy that almost froze my throat as the music swelled.

I also participated in Madrigals at my high school. I loved the elaborate costumes. I still love the blending of four- to six-part accapella harmony. The Holly and the Ivy still gives me shivers of pleasure and rockets me back to the Christmases of my youth.

Christmas music still does this to me.

Forget the gifts. Remember the reason for the season.

I almost got myself arrested taking this photo last night. I didn't know it was illegal to take a photo of a Christmas tree in a train station, did you?

Guess the security guard must have thought I was a terrierist or something...

Merry Christmas, indeed.


From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Who knew Ms. Althouse has a rowdy side? This game is absolutely hilarious. I couldn't stop giggling, and I couldn't stop playing it. (Try it. You'll see...)

From Michael Sneed's 12/25/02 Chicago Tribune Column:

The following is a Christmas story about an old pal named Steve who has a son named Sam, who learned "the Truth" about Santa Claus . . . on Christmas Eve.

But like a good father, Steve worried about how his son was handling this turn in his life. So he penned a note to Sam from "Santa" and left it under the tree.

I printed this yarn (it's true) a few years ago. So here it goes again.

Dear Sam,

Your dad stayed up last night to tell me that you now know as much about me as I do about you.

Well, good. I'm glad you asked. And don't worry, no child ever really leaves me. Ask your mom. Ask your dad. They know I don't live in the North Pole (too cold). They know I don't ride in a sleigh (too dangerous). Still, they love me, and so will you, even 50 years from now.

Oh, and what do you think happened last night just as you were asking about me?

Why, a baby was born out in Kalispell, Mont. That's right, just as you were putting aside your belief, a brand-new child was born who can put it to good use.

So long as that keeps happening, I'll never be out of a job.

Sam, I want to wish you a wonderful life. If you don't mind, I will continue to drop by on future Christmases, just to make sure you're OK.

Love, Santa

P.S. Remember, you don't have to believe in me to know I am there.

Nice, huh? Thanks, Steve . . . for being a terrific Santa.

From Deborah:

Why Christmas Trees Are Better Than Men

1. A Christmas tree is always erect.
2. Even small ones give satisfaction.
3. A Christmas tree stays up for days.
4. A Christmas tree always looks good - even when it's lit.
5. A Christmas tree is always happy with its size.
6. A Christmas tree has cute balls.
7. A Christmas tree doesn't get mad if you break one of its balls.
8. You can throw a Christmas tree out when it wears out.
9. You don't have to put up with a Christmas tree all year.
10. You only have to feed/water it once a week.
11. It's always there to light up your life.
12. It gets turned on only when you want it turned on.
13. It always smells nice and doesn't pass gas.
14. If it needles you, you can toss it out.

From Kathy, a Carol Quiz!



1. Bleached Yule

2. Castaneous-colored Seed Vesicated in a Conflagration (Good one huh?)

3. Singular Yearning for the Twin Incisors

4. Righteous Darkness

5. Arrival Time: 2400 hrs. - Weather: Cloudless

6. Loyal Followers Advance

7. Far off in a Feeder

8. Array the Corridor

9. Bantam Male Percussionist

10. Monarchial Triad

11. Nocturnal Noiselessness

12. Jehovah Deactivate Blithe Chevaliers

13. Red Man En Route to Borough

14. Frozen Precipitation Commence

15. Proceed and Enlighten on the Pinnacle

16. The Quadruped with the Vermillion Probiscis

17. Query Regarding Identity of Descendant

18. Delight for this Planet

19. Give Attention to the Melodius Celestial Beings

20. The Dozen Festive 24 Hour Intervals

Answers tomorrow.

Have you written your letter to Santa yet? If not, Jan says this link can help.

Little Johnny had a cussing problem and his father was getting tired of it. He decided to ask his shrink what to do. The shrink said "Since Christmas is coming up, you should ask Johnny what he wants Santa to bring him. If he cusses while he tells you his wish list, leave a pile of dog poop in place of the gift or gifts he requests."

Two days before Christmas, Johnny's father asked him what he wanted for Christmas. "I want a damn teddy-bear laying right beside me when I wake-up. When I go downstairs I want to see a damn train going around the damn tree. And when I go outside I want to see a damn bike leaning up against the damn garage."

Christmas morning, Little Johnny woke up and rolled over into a pile of dog poop. Confused, he walked down stairs and saw another pile under the tree. Scratching his head, he walked outside and saw a huge pile of dog poop by the garage.

When Johnny walked back inside with a curious look on his face, his dad smiled and asked, "What did Santa bring you this year?"

Johnny replied, "I think I got a damn dog but I can't find the son-of-a-bitch!"

Bubba Claus

Subject: To whom it may concern

I regret to inform you that, effective immediately, I will no longer beable to serve the southern United States on Christmas Eve. Due to the overwhelming current population of the earth, my contract was renegotiated by North American Fairies and Elves Local 209. I now serve only certain areas of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. As part of the new and better contract I also get longer breaks for milk and cookies, so keep that in mind.

I'm certain that your children will be in good hands with your local replacement, who happens to be my third cousin, Bubba Claus.

His side of the family is from the South Pole. He shares my goal of delivering toys to all the good boys and girls; however, there are a few differences between us. Differences such as:

1. There is no danger of a Grinch stealing your presents from Bubba Claus. He has a gun rack on his sleigh and a bumper sticker that reads: "These toys insured by Smith and Wesson."

2. Instead of milk and cookies, Bubba Claus prefers that children leave an RC Cola and a moon pie [or pork rinds] on the fireplace. And Bubba doesn't smoke a pipe. He dips a little snuff though, so please have an empty spitcan handy.

3. Bubba Claus' sleigh is pulled by floppy-eared, flyin' coon dogs insteado f reindeer. I made the mistake of loaning him a couple of my reindeer onetime, and Blitzen's head now overlooks Bubba's fireplace.

4. You won't hear "On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen", when Bubba Claus arrives. Instead, you'll hear, "On Earnhardt, on Wallace, on Martin and Labonte. On Rudd, on Jarrett, on Elliott and Petty."

5. "Ho, ho, ho!" has been replaced by "Yee Haw!" And you also are likely to hear Bubba's elves respond, "I heard dat!"

6. As required by Southern highway laws, Bubba Claus' sleigh does have a Yosemite Sam safety triangle on the back with the words "Back off". The last I heard, it also had other decorations on the sleigh back as well. One is a Ford or Chevy logo with lights that race through the letters and the other is a caricature of me (Santa Claus) peeing on the Tooth Fairy.

7. The usual Christmas movie classics such as "Miracle on 34th Street" and "It's a Wonderful Life" will not be shown in your negotiated viewing area. Instead, you'll see "Boss Hogg Saves Christmas" and "Smokey and the Bandit IV" featuring Burt Reynolds as Bubba Claus and dozens of state patrol cars crashing into each other.

8. Bubba Claus doesn't wear a belt. If I were you, I'd make sure you, the wife, and the kids turn the other way when he bends over to put presents under the tree.

9. And, finally, lovely Christmas songs have been sung about me, such as"Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer" and Bing Crosby's "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." This year, however, songs about Bubba Claus will be played on all the AM radio stations in the South--songs such as Mark Chesnutt's "Bubba Claus Shot the Jukebox" and "Grandma Got Run'd Over by a Reindeer."

Merrily Yours,

Santa Claus
Member, North American Fairies and Elves Local 209

Update: Here are those answers I promised.

1. White Christmas
2. Chesnuts Roasting On An Open Fire
3. All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
4. Oh, Holy Night
5. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
6. Oh, Come All Ye Faithful
7. Away In A Manger
8. Deck The Halls
9. Little Drummer Boy
10. We Three Kings
11. Silent Night
12. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
13. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
14. Let It Snow
15. Go Tell It On The Mountain
16. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
17. What Child Is This?
18. Joy To The World
19. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
20. Twelve Days of Christmas

How'd you do?


This, my friends, is why I didn't study rocket science in college:

You're a poetic intellectual.

What Sort of Intellectual Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

(A tip of the cap to Denny.)

I hate remakes of classic movies.

Despise them.

Can't understand why anyone would want to make one.

Can't understand why a studio would fund one.

Can't understand why anyone would pay good money to see one.

And I really can't believe that, all that being said, I want to see this movie.

In the theater, not on DVD.

Hell is freezing over at this very moment.

Roadside Diner

I promised a review of Fogo de Chao a couple of days ago.

Let me say, the restaurant is misnamed. It should be "Fogo de... Wow! I can't believe I ate the whole thing!"

They have the most fabulous salad bar I have ever seen. I could have had nothing but the salad bar, and been a happy, happy camper. Unlimited access to their own smoked salmon with herb sauce for dipping? (The only fish on the menu, BTW.) I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven. At least three kinds of mixed greens. At least four kinds of cheese, including handball-sized portions of fresh buffalo mozzarella and chunked (not grated, not shaved) Parmegiano Reggiano. Prociutto. Genoa salami. Blanched asparagus spears. A fresh salad of haricots vert, julienned carrots, sesame seeds in a light balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Gorgeous grilled red and yellow peppers. The list goes on and on. (I have to stop describing this now. I'm drooling all over the keyboard.)

My recommendation: Choose the smallest plate available. Remember -- this is supposted to be a starter. It's so good and so bountiful, it could easily end up being the whole meal.

As for the rest of the offerings... did you ever see the Rodney Dangerfield movie "Back to School"? In the beginning Rodney is doing an ad for his business -- Thornton Mellon's Tall & Fat. It begins, "Are you fat? Do you..." and ends with, "When you open a menu, do you say 'YES'?"

Well... at Fogo de Chao, you can say "YES". There are 15 different cuts of meat, all cooked over a wood fire. You get a little card that's red on one side and green on the other. When you're ready for a serving of meat, you turn the card to green. Like magic, Gaucho chefs appear with long skewers of steaming, mouthwateringly fragrant beef, pork, lamb, chicken and sausages. They will serve you as much of any of them as you wish. It's a he-man's paradise and a vegan's worst nightmare.

My hands-down favorite is the lamb chops. They were as near to perfection as I've ever had anywhere. If you love lamb, don't miss them. Everything else was wonderful, too, though.

A couple more notes:

A big word of caution: PACE YOURSELF. After one or two servings, flip your card back to red for a while. It's very easy to stuff yourself and miss out on some of the best offerings.

It's pricey -- $48.50 per person; however, you can order every single thing on the menu, and more than once. (Buckaroo Bonsai had four servings of the lamb chops alone.) For the price, if you really like meat, and lots of it, it's a good deal.

Service -- You'll have at least three servers, and that doesn't include the small army of Gaucho chefs with big honking skewers of meat. Side dishes and fresh plates are frequently replenished. Smooth, professional, and non-intrusive.

If you have a more limited appetite, read the menu ahead of time and know what you really want. I must have waived away at least six of the boys in blousy pants before I finally got my lambchops. They won't take offense.

The main dining room is much quieter than the bar, at which conversation is mainly held at a very high decibel level.

Don't eat anything the day you plan to go. Your stomach will thank you later.

Bus Fumes

Mamacita has a few words for students receiving an "F" grade and not understanding why.

I LIKE this woman.


You Are Blitzen
Always in good spirits, you're the reindeer who loves to party down with Santa.
Why You're Naughty: You're always blitzed on Christmas Eve, while flying!
Why You're Nice: You mix up a mean eggnog martini.

(A tip of the cap to Kate. Merry Christmas, my friend!)

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Funny, funny parody of "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen" can be found here. God! This will be stuck in my head all day!

From Elizabeth:

Two women who had been friends for years, decided to go for a Girls' Night Out and were decidedly over-enthusiastic on the martinis. Incredibly drunk and walking home, they needed to use the bathroom.

They were very near a cemetery, and one of them suggested they wiz behind a headstone. The first woman had nothing to dry herself with so she thought she'd take off her panties, use them, then throw them away.

Her friend, however, was wearing rather expensive underwear and didn't want to ruin hers, but was lucky to salvage a large ribbon from a wreath that was on one of the graves. She dried herself with the ribbon.

After finishing, they then made off for home.

The next day, the first woman's husband phoned the other husband and said, "This girls' night out thing has got to stop right now! My wife came home last night without her panties."

"That's nothing." said the other husband. "Mine came home with a card stuck to her ass that said, "FROM ALL OF US AT THE FIRE STATION. WE'LL NEVER FORGET YOU."

Having a hard time figuring out what to get the men on your list for Christmas? Michelle has a dandy list.

Ellison wants to know what rotten kid songs you remember. I, of course, contributed four. (Blame it on my brother, okay?)

Shamelessly swiped from Tiger:

Three businessmen were riding together on Christmas Eve on their way home from a Christmas party when their car hit a patch of ice, skidded off the road and hit a tree. All three died and found themselves standing outside the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter looked them up and down, shaking his head from side to side. "You three are about as sorry a lot as I have seen lately. I fear you are at the wrong place, but since it is Christmastime, I'll allow you in on one condition."

"What is that?" one of them asked.

"You must reach into your pocket and show me an item with a connection with Christmas."

One of the quickly reached into his pocket and produced a lighter, which he lit and held it above his head. "This symbolizes a Christmas candle."

Saint Peter nodded his head and opened the gate to allow the man to enter.

Following his friend's example, the second man reached into his pocket and produced a ring of keys, which he shook allowing the keys to jingle. "This symbolizes Christmas bells."

Again Saint Peter nodded his head and opened the gate.

The third man reached into his pocket and produced a pair of women's panties which he head out for Saint Peter's examination.

"What Christmas significance can they have?" Saint Peter asked. "They are paisley in print, and of purple and gold color."

"They're Carol's."

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Nancy V. sent me a whole lot more info on being Italian. See if you recognize yourself in here:

Only an Italian would understand.....

You spent your entire childhood thinking what you ate for lunch was pronounced "sangwich."

Your family dog understood Italian.

Every Sunday afternoon of your childhood was spent visiting your grandparents and extended family.

You've experienced the phenomena of 150 people fitting into 50 square feet of yard during a family cookout.

You were surprised to discover the FDA recommends you eat three meals a day, not seven.

You ate pasta for dinner at least three times a week, and every Sunday.

You grew up thinking no fruit or vegetable had a fixed price and that the price of everything was negotiable through haggling.

You watched Lawrence Welk and Ed Sullivan every Sunday night.

You were as tall as your grandmother by the age of seven.

You thought everyone's last name ended in a vowel.

You thought nylons were supposed to be worn rolled to the ankles.

You were surprised to find out that wine was actually sold in stores.

You thought Catholic was the only religion in the world.

You thought every meal had to be eaten with a hunk of bread in your left hand.

You can understand Italian but you can't speak it.

You have at least one relative who came over on the boat.

You grew up calling the bathroom the baccausa. And you only had one.

You were surprised to learn most kitchen utensils had another name which didn't end in a vowel.

All of your (great) uncles fought in a World War.

You have at least one relative who wore a black dress every day for an entire year after a funeral.

You have relatives you don't speak to.

You drank wine before you were a teenager.

You grew up in a house with a yard that didn't have one patch of dirt that didn't have a flower or a vegetable growing out of it.

Your grandparent's furniture was as comfortable as sitting on plastic. (What!!!! You WERE sitting on plastic.)

You thought that talking loud was normal!

You thought cookies and the Tarantella were common at all weddings.

You thought everyone got pinched on the cheeks and had money stuffed in their pockets by their relatives.

Every luncheon meat you ate ended in a vowel.

There was a crucifix in every room of the house, including the cellar.

There was a saint somewhere in the yard and car.

Boys didn't do house work because it was women's work.

You couldn't date a boy without getting approval from your father. And the date required a chaperone.

You know what lemon ice is.

You called pasta "macaroni."

You have at least one irrational fear or phobia that can be directly attributed to your mother.

True Italians have a $40,000 kitchen, but use the $259 stove from Sears in the basement to cook.

The living room is filled with old wedding favors with poofy net bows and stale almonds (they are too pretty to open).

A portrait of the Pope and Frank Sinatra in the dining room.

God forbid if anyone EVER attempted to eat Chef Boy-are-dee, Franco American, Ragu, Prego or anything else in a jar or can (tomato paste is the exception).

Meatballs are made with Pork, Veal and Beef. We are Italians and we don't care about cholesterol.

Turkey is served on Thanksgiving, AFTER the manicotti, gnocchi, lasagna and soup.

If anyone EVER says ES-CAROLE, slap 'em in the face -- it's SHCAROLE.

If they ever say ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP, let the idiot know that there is no wedding, nor is there an Italian in the soup. Also, the tiny meatballs must be made by hand.

No matter how hard you know you were going to get smacked, you still came home from church after Communion, you stuck half a loaf of bread in the sauce pot, snuck out a fried meatball and chowed down. You'll make up for it next week at confession.

Sunday dinner was at 1:00. The meal went like this...Table is set with everyday dishes...doesn't matter if they don't match...they're clean. What more do you want? All the utensils go on the right side of the plate and the napkin goes on the left. Put a clean kitchen towel at Nonno & Papa's plate because they won't use napkins. Homemade wine and bottles of 7-Up or club soda are on the table. First course, antipasto...change plates. Next, Macaroni (Nonna called all spaghetti Macaroni)... change plates. After that, Roasted Meats, Roasted Potatoes, Over-cooked Vegetables...change plates. THEN and only then (NEVER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MEAL) would you eat the salad (HOMEMADE OIL & VINEGAR DRESSING ONLY)...change plates. Next, Fruit & Nuts - in the shell (on paper plates because you ran out of the other ones). Coffee with Anisette (Espresso for Nonno, "Merican" coffee for the rest) with hard Cookies to dip in the coffee. The kids go play...the men go to lay down. They slept so soundly you could perform brain surgery on them without anesthesia..the women clean the kitchen.

Getting screamed at by Mom or Nonna - half the sentence was English, the other half Italian.

Italian mothers never threw a baseball in their life, but can nail you in the head with a shoe thrown from the kitchen while you're in the living room.

Prom Dress that Zia Ceserina made you...$20.00 for material. Prom hair-do from cousin Angela...$Free. Turning around at prom to see your entire family (including Godparents) standing in the back of the gym...PRICELESS!

Elizabeth has fun facts about... WD40:

I thought that you might like to know more about this well-known WD-40 product. When you read the "shower door" part, try it. It's the first thing that has cleaned that spotty shower door. If yours is plastic, it works just as well as glass.

It's a miracle!

Then try it on your stovetop... Viola! It's now shinier than it's ever been. You'll be amazed.

The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. Its name comes from the project that was to find a "Water Displacement" compound. They were successful with the Fortieth formulation, thus WD-40.

The Corvair Company bought it in bulk to protect their Atlas missile parts. The workers were so pleased with the product they began smuggling (also known as "shrinkage" or "stealing") it out to use at home. The executives decided there might be a consumer market for it and put it in aerosol cans. The rest is history.

It is a carefully guarded recipe known only to four people. One of them is the "brew master."

There are about 2.5 million gallons of the stuff manufactured each year. It gets its distinctive smell from a fragrance that is added to the brew.

Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you.

Here are a few of the thousands of uses:

~Protects silver from tarnishing
~Cleans and lubricates guitar strings
~Gets oil spots off concrete driveways
~Keeps flies off cows
~Restores and cleans chalkboards
~Loosens stubborn zippers
~Untangles jewelry chains
~Removes stains from stainless steel sinks
~Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill
~Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing
~Removes tomato stains from clothing
~Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots
~Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors
~Keeps scissors working smoothly
~Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes
~Gives a children's play gym slide a shine for a super fast slide
~Lubricates gear shift and mower-deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers
~Rids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises
~Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open
~Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close
~Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards and vinyl bumpers
~Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles
~Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans
~Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons and bicycles for easy handling
~Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly
~Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools
~Removes splattered grease on stove
~Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging
~Lubricates prosthetic limbs
~Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell)
~Removes all traces of duct tape
~I have even heard of folks spraying it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
~Florida's favorite use was "cleans and removes love bugs from auto grills and bumpers." Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly!
~The favorite use in the state of New York:--WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
~WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a LITTLE on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. It's a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose. Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.
~Keeps away chiggers on the kids
~Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately, and stops the itch.
~WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.
~Also, if you've discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots withWD-40 and re-wash. Presto! Lipstick is gone!
~If you sprayed WD-40 on the distributor cap, it would displace the moisture and allow the car to start.
~WD-40, long known for its ability to remove leftover tape smunges (sticky label tape), is also a lovely perfume and air freshener! Sprayed liberally on every hinge in the house, it leaves that distinctive clean fresh scent for up to two days!
~Seriously though, it removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor! Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It doesn't seem to harm the finish and you won't have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.

Barrie sends this silly snow globe.

Elizabeth sent this a while ago:

I had a bunch of Canadian dollars I needed to exchange so I went to the currency exchange window at the local bank. I chose the shortest line,just one guy in front of me. He was an Asian guy who was trying to exchange yen for dollars and he was a little agitated.

He asked the teller, "Why it change? Yestoday I get two hunat dolla fo yen. Today Iget hunat eighty?"

The teller says, "Fluctuations."

The Asian guy says,"Fluc you white guys too!"

[Yeah, yeah -- I know it's not PC. However, I've heard exchanges just like this in currency exchanges here in Chicago.]

Catfish explains How To Install a Poor-man's Security System:

Go to a second-hand store, buy a pair of men's used work boots -- a really big pair.

Put them outside your front door on top of a copy of Guns and Ammo magazine.

Put a dog dish beside it. A really big dog dish.

Leave a note on your front door that says something like: "Bubba, big Mike and I have gone to get more ammunition - back in a hr. Don't disturb the pitbulls; they've just been de-wormed."

Roadside Diversions

It's a two-fer today:

The Carnival of the Cats is up at Quite Early One Morning. Loads and loads of feline warm fuzzies.

Also, the Carnival of the Recipes is up at Dubious Wonder. Loads of wonderful recipes for your holiday entertaining... or just some soothing comfort food.

(I've gotta sneak back over there for the recipe for those Chocolate Bourbon Balls. Yum! Two of my favorite things! Now, does anyone have a divine (and foolproof) recipe for Rum Balls???)


This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me well...

The Movie Of Your Life Is An Indie Flick

You do things your own way - and it's made for colorful times.
Your life hasn't turned out how anyone expected, thank goodness!

Your best movie matches: Clerks, Garden State, Napoleon Dynamite

(A tip of the cap to the lovely and soulful Dana.)

One more thing. I had a dream that lasted all night last night. As frequently happens to me lately, three weblogs were involved. Ellison, Old Crankypants and the Chai-Rista figured highly. I've only met two of the three. Scary thought, no?

Hmmm. Must have been something I ate, as a genuine food coma followed immediately. More on that tomorrow.

Update: Seems I'm not the only one having unusual dreams these days. Go see what Christine has been up to in her sleep. Nyquil, huh?

Chartered Excursion -- Stillman Valley, IL

Aw, c'mon. Sign up already. We don't bite.

If you're an Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin or Iowa blogger... or you live in any of those areas and pop in here at the Omnibus to see what I've been up to lately, you're invited.


Live in Chicago and don't have a car? Take the Metra out to... well, email me, and I'll tell you where. There's room for three more adults in my vehicle.

It'll be fun. I promise.


I'd have paid good money to see this.

("Man berries"??? Bwaaaaaaaaahahahahaha!)


Velocidude wants to know what to do with 52 softball-sized lemons. Dude! Make limoncello, of course! Mmmmmm................ Yummy!

I wonder if I could get me one of these... I know! I can put it on my Christmas list. Buckaroo Bonsai ought to loooooove that!

Good. I didn't think the plea agreement was nearly hard enough on her.

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

From Catfish:

A guy walks into the local welfare office, marches straight up to the counter and says:"Hi... You know, I just HATE drawing welfare. I'd really rather have a job."

The social worker behind the counter says: "Your timing is excellent.We just got a job opening from a very wealthy old man who wants achauffeur and bodyguardfor his beautiful nymphomaniac daughter. You'll have to drive around in his Mercedes, but he'll supply all of your clothes. Because of the long hours, meals will be provided. You'll be expected to escort her on her overseas holiday trips. You will have to satisfy her sexual urges. You'll be provided a two-bedroom apartment above the garage.The starting salary is $200,000 a year."

The guy, wide-eyed, says, "You're bullshittin' me!"

The social worker says, "Yeah, well... you started it."

This, too: Post-Season Collegiate Football Quiz

1) What does the average Alabama Player get on his SATs?

2) What do you get when you put 32 Arkansas Cheerleaders in one room?
.........A full set of teeth.

3) How do you get a South Carolina Cheerleader into your dorm room?
.........Grease her hips and push.

4) How do you get a Georgia Graduate off your porch?
.........Pay him for the pizza.

5) How do you know if a Mississippi State football player has a Girlfriend?
........There is tobacco spit on both sides of his pickup

6) Why is the Kentucky Football team like a possum?
.........Because they play dead at home and get killed on the road.

7) What are the longest three years of an Auburn football player's Life?
.........His freshman year.

8) How many Florida Freshmen does it take to change a light bulb?
.........None. That's a sophomore course.

9) Where was O. J. headed in the white Bronco?
........Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He knew that the police would never look at LSU for a Heisman Trophy winner.

AND FINALLY (drum roll and cymbal crash.....)

10) Why did Tennessee choose orange as their team color?
.........You can wear it to the game on Saturday, hunting on Sunday, and picking up trash along the highways the rest of the week.

And this, too:

St Peter is manning the Pearly Gates when forty people from New Orleans 9th ward show up. Never having seen any one from the Big Easy at heaven's door, St. Peter says that he will have to check with God. God instructs him to admit the ten most virtuous people from the group.

A few minutes later St. Peter returns to God breathless and says "They're gone! They're gone!".

"What? All the New Orleaneans are gone?" says God.

"No," replies St Peter, "The Pearly Gates are gone!"

And this:

A pompous minister was seated next to a redneck on a flight across the country. After the plane was airborne, drink orders were taken.

The redneck asked the flight attendant for a whiskey and soda, which was brought and placed before him.

The flight attendant then asked the minister if he would like a drink.

He replied in disgust, "I'd rather be savagely raped by brazen whores than let liquor touch these lips."

The redneck promptly handed his drink back to the flight attendant and said, "Shittt...., me too.... I didn't know we had a choice."

And this: Official Announcement

The government today announced that it is changing its emblem from an Eagle to a CONDOM because it more accurately reflects the government's political stance. A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives you a sense of security while you're actually being screwed.

The Sweetheart of Shell Knob, MO sent this: VERY SAD NEWS

The Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a Nativity Scene in Washington, DC this Christmas season. This isn't for any religious reason, they simply have not been able to find three wise men and a virgin in the Nation's capitol. There was no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.

Traveling Companions


Whooo! Deep breath.

Mmmmm! Lovely catnip!


Tiger Boots got her freak on last night...


Head on over to the Friday Ark and check out some of her friends.

Road Conditions

Button up your overcoats and get out your snow boots. It's going to be a messy commute home!

26 degrees and 2-3 inches of snow on the way.



What's your Christmas name? (Mine is Cutie Pie Butter-Noodles. I could just die.)

(A tip of the cap to Nancy V., who not only sent this thing, she also made sure I corrected the link!)


Our birth dates describes who we are, what we are good at and what our inborn abilities are. It also points to what we have to learn and the challenges we are facing.

To figure out your Birth Number, add all the numbers in the birth date together, like in the example, until there is only one digit.

Example March 20, 1950
3 + 20 + 1950 = 1973
1 + 9 + 7 + 3 = 20
2 + 0 = 2

Keep going until you end up with a single digit number. 2 is the Birth Number to read for the birth date in the example.


1's are originals. Coming up with new ideas and executing them is natural. Having things their own way is another trait that! gets them as being stubborn and arrogant. 1's are extremely honest and do well to learn some diplomacy skills. They like to take the initiative and are often leaders or bosses, as they like to be the best. Being self-employed is definitely helpful for them. Lesson to learn others' ideas might be just as good or better and to stay open minded.

Famous 1's:
Tom Hanks
Robert Redford
Hulk Hogan
Carol Burnett
Wynona Judd
Nancy Reagan
Raquel Welch
Sweetheart of Shell Knobb, MO

2's are the born diplomats. They are aware of others' needs and moods and often think of others before themselves. Naturally analytical and very intuitive they don't like to be alone. Friendship and companionship is very important and can lead them to be successful in life, but on the other hand they'd rather be alone than in an uncomfortable relationship. Being naturally shy, they should learn to boost their self-esteem and express themselves freely and seize the moment and not put things off.

Famous 2's:
President Bill Clinton
Whoopee Goldberg
Thomas Edison
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

3's are idealists. They are very creative, social, charming, romantic, and easygoing. They start many things, but don't always see them through. They like others to be happy and go to great lengths to achieve it. They are very popular and idealistic. They should learn to see the world from a more realistic point of view.

Famous 3's:
Alan Alda
Ann Landers
Bill Cosby
Melanie Griffith
Salvador Dali
Jodi Foster

4's are sensible and traditional. They like order and routine. They only act when they fully understand what they are expected to do. They like getting their hands dirty and working hard. They are attracted to the outdoors and feel an affinity with nature. They are prepared to wait and can be stubborn and persistent. They should learn to be more flexible and to be nice to themselves.

Famous 4's:
Neil Diamond
Margaret Thatcher
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Tina Turner
Paul Hogan
Oprah Winfrey

5's are the explorers. Their natural curiosity, risk taking, and enthusiasm often land them in hot water. They need diversity, and don't like to be stuck in a rut. The whole world is their school and they see a learning possibility in every situation. The questions never stop. They are well advised to look before they take action and make sure they have all the facts before jumping to conclusions.

Famous 5's:
Abraham Lincoln
Charlotte Bronte
Jessica Walter
Vincent Van Gogh
Bette Midler
Helen Keller
Mark Hail

6's are idealistic and need to feel useful to be happy. A strong family connection is important to them. Their actions influence their decisions. They have a strong urge to take care of others and to help. They are very loyal and make great teachers. They like art or music. They make loyal friends who take the friendship seriously. 6's should learn to differentiate between what they can change and what they cannot.

Famous 6's:
Albert Einstein
Jane Seymour
John Denver
Meryl Steep
Christopher Columbus
Goldie Hawn
Omnibus Driver
Blonde Justice
The MacBean Gene

7's are the searchers. Always probing for hidden information, they find it difficult to accept things at face value. Emotions don't sway their decisions. Questioning everything in life, they don't like to be questioned themselves. They're never off to a fast start, and their motto is slow and steady wins the race. They come across as philosophers and being very knowledgeable, and sometimes as loners. They are technically inclined and make great researchers uncovering information. They like secrets. They live in their own world and should learn what is acceptable and what not in the world at large.

Famous 7's:
William Shakespeare
Lucille Ball
Michael Jackson
Joan Baez
Princess Diana
Mira d'Obliette

8's are the problem solvers. They are professional, blunt and to the point, have good judgment and are decisive. They have grand plans and like to live the good life. They take charge of people. They view people objectively. They let you know in no uncertain terms that they are the boss. They should learn to exude their decisions on their own needs rather than on what others want.

Famous 8's:
Edgar Cayce
Barbra Streisand
George Harrison
Jane Fonda
Pablo Picasso
Aretha Franklin
Ron Connolly

9's are natural entertainers. They are very caring and generous, giving away their last dollar to help. With their charm, they have no problem making friends and nobody is a stranger to them. They have so many different personalities that people around them have a hard time understanding them. They are like chameleons, ever changing and blending in. They have tremendous luck, but also can suffer from extremes in fortune and mood. To be successful, they need to build a loving foundation.

Famous 9's:
Albert Schweitzer
Shirley MacLaine
Harrison Ford
Jimmy Carter
Elvis Presley
Da Goddess

Want to be added to the list? Drop a comment or email me at Omnibus-dot-Driver-at-gmail-dot-com.


This is news???

What was the name of that book again? Ah, yes! "Who Moved My Cheese?"

(An amazing way to deal with work and change in your life, indeed.)

The End of the Line

I found out last night that a good friend passed away. Nobody is quite sure when it happened -- some time between Sunday night and Tuesday early evening, but I'm guessing it was somewhere in the wee small hours of Monday morning. It is of some comfort that he appears to have died in his sleep.

Please say a prayer for Danny Hayes -- queen, curmudgeon, gentleman, scholar, friend... and one for his friends, who are all stunned.

(I'll miss you, Miss Hayes.)


Overheard at Emil's on an opera night:
"She had legs like two sticks of gum and tits out to Montauk."
Classy, huh?

If you've been following the Pajamas Media tale, you just have to read this parody. Side-splittingly funny.

(A tip of the cap to Mog.)

Quote of the day:

"Still, I believe that there's a difference between saying you want to do something, and actually whipping out Mr. Lizard and doing the deed. No sperm, no foul, really."


Now here's a holiday that should appeal to V-Man.

(A tip of the cap to J-Walk.)

One more thing...

What Your Underwear Says About You
You like your underwear to make you feel girlish and pretty. Let's hope you're a chick.
You're sexy, in that pinup girl, tease sort of way.

(A tip of the cap to caltechgirl.)

Tootin' the Horn

Happy Birthday, Kelley! Now when are you going to start posting again, dammit?

Bus Fumes

Pammy's on a rant, and she's absolutely right. Smokers are already hit by every sin tax imaginable. Bloodsuckers!


Buckaroo Bonsai has gotten me hooked, first on Firefly, then on the movie Serenity. Now, thanks to a tip from Pejman, I can return the favor and get him hooked on Serenity as presented by Hand Puppet Theater. Hilarious!

Don't mess with Mamacita. Or that Peapatch Gal. Either one can haul out a can of whup-ass in a battle of wits and words.

Hmmm... I wouldn't have thought of this, especially #4 under "In Stores." Let's keep the Grinches out of Christmas this year.

I was reading this post about Pajamas Media when a naughty thought struck. "osm.org"??? Flip those acronyms and you get "org.osm". (Not hardly. Bore-gasm is more like it.)

(A tip of the cap to Ann Althouse.)



You Are "Frosty the Snowman"

Frosty the Snowman
Was a jolly happy soul
With a corncob pipe and a button nose
And two eyes made out of coal

Snowball fights, sledding, and tons of hot chocolate with candy canes.
Christmas is all about reliving the adventures of your youth.

(A tip of the cap to Jay Solo.)

Hey! Somebody needs to tell Laurence Simon that Techdirt is stealing his schtick!

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

From Elizabeth -- Ode To The Spell-Checker

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

Elizabeth also sent this:

Dear Santa,

I rarely ask for much. This year is no exception. I don't need diamond earrings, handy slicer-dicers or comfy slippers. I only want one little thing, and I want it deeply.

I want to slap Martha Stewart.

Now, hear me out, Santa. I won't scar her or draw blood or anything. Just one good smack, right across her smug little cheek. I get all cozy inside just thinking about it. Don't grant this wish just for me, do it for thousands of women across the country.

Through sheer vicarious satisfaction, you'll be giving a gift to us all.

Those of us leading average, garden variety lives aren't concerned with gracious living. We feel pretty good about ourselves if our paper plates match when we stack them on the counter, buffet-style for dinner.

We're tired of Martha showing us how to make centerpieces from hollyhock dipped in 18 carat gold. We're plumb out of liquid gold. Unless it's of furniture polish variety.

We can't whip up Martha's creamy holiday sauce, spiced with turmeric. Most of us can't even say turmeric, let alone figure out what to do with it.

OK, Santa, maybe you think I'm being a little harsh. But I'll bet with all the holiday rush you didn't catch that interview with Martha in last week's USA Weekend. I'm surprised there was enough room on the page for her ego.

We discovered that not only does Martha avoid take-out pizza (she's only ordered it once), she refuses to eat it cold (No cold pizza? Is Martha Stewart Living?) When it was pointed out that she could microwave it, she replied, "I don't have a microwave."

The reporter, Jeffrey Zaslow, noted that she said this "in a tone that suggests you shouldn't either." Well lah-dee-dah. Imagine that, Santa!

That lovely microwave you brought me years ago, in which I've learned two complicated dishes like popcorn and hot chocolate, has been declared undesirable by Queen Martha.

What next? The coffee maker? In the article, we learned that Martha has 40 sets of dishes adorning an entire wall in her home. Forty sets. Can you spell "overkill"? And neatly put away, no less. If my dishes make it to the dishwasher, that qualifies "put away" in my house!

Martha tells us she's already making homemade holiday gifts for friends.

"Last year, I made amazing silk-lined scarves for everyone," she boasts.

Just scarves, mind you. Amazing scarves. Martha's obviously not shy about giving herself a little pat on the back. In fact, she does so with such frequency that one has to wonder if her back is black and blue. She goes on to tell us that "homemaking is glamour for the the new century" and says her most glamorous friends are "interested in stain removal, how to iron a monogram, and how to fold a towel."

I have one piece of advice, Martha: "Get new friends."

Glamorous friends fly to Paris on a whim. They drift past the Greek Islands on yachts, sipping champagne from crystal goblets. They step out for the evening in shimmering satin gowns, whisked away by tuxedoed chauffeurs. They do not spend their days pondering the finer art of toilet bowl sanitation.

Zaslow notes that Martha was named one of America's 25 most influential people by Time magazine (nosing out Mother Theresa, Madeline Allbright and Maya Angelou, no doubt).

The proof of Martha's influence: after she bought white-fleshed peaches in the supermarket, Martha says, "People saw me buy them. In an instant, they were all gone." I hope Martha never decides to jump off a bridge.

A guest in Martha's home told Zaslow how Martha gets up early to roller blade with her dogs to pick fresh wild blackberries for breakfast. This confirms what I've suspected about Martha all along: She's obviously got too much time on her hands. Teaching the dogs to roller blade. What a show off.

If you think the dogs are spoiled, listen to how Martha treats her friends: She gave one friend all 272 books from the Knopf Everyman Library. It didn't cost much. Pocket change, really. Just $5,000. But what price friendship, right?

"Being an overachiever is nothing despicable. It is only admirable. Never lower your standards," says Martha. And of her Web Page on the Internet, Martha declares herself an "important presence" as she graciously helps people organize their sad, tacky little lives.

There you have it, Santa. If there was ever someone who deserved a good smack, it's Martha Stewart. But I bet I won't get my gift this year. You probably want to smack her yourself!

Update: If you're dropping by as a result of my first Acid Bath, welcome! Stick around, read a little more. And come back and see me again soon. (Thanks a million, Rob!)


Funnily enough, this guy and this guy might just wear this silly thing. Hmmmm.... maybe I really should break out knitting needles...

(A big tip of the cap to LeahPeah.)

What? Somebody else dislikes Her Perkiness almost as much as moi? I wouldn't have thought that was possible.

And in the good old U.S. of A. we'd call this child porn... or an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog.

Tootin' the Horn

He's back and he's still a real live firecracker. Go visit Kim du Toit.

Roadside Diversions

Carnival of the Cats is up at When Cats Attack. Michelle did a great job this week. Go check it out!

Ferdy and his pet Bruce are hosting the Carnival of the Vicious, Invading Paleface Bastards here. Lots of linkin' about the Land of Lincoln.

She's Got a Ticket to Ride

Looks like the blogmeet is on for Stillman Valley, IL on January 8th.

Stillman Valley is about an hour and a half from O'Hare Airport. Buckaroo Bonsai and I are going, and I have room for three more adults in my car. Even better, we're 10 minutes from O'Hare... so if anyone wants to fly in, we can provide transport to and from Fritz's.

Are you a lurker and not a blogger? Ever left comments on a blog? You're invited, too. We'll have you blogging before you know it!

After my experience with those outrageous Jawja Blown-Eyed Blodgers in October, I can tell you that a blogmeet is an absolute blast. It's just finally putting faces to old and dear friends. Shy? We'll get you over that in short order.

No excuses. Bop on over to T1G's and reserve yourself a spot. We can't wait to meet you.

P.S. -- If I could become an honorary Jawja Blodger, YOU can become an honorary Land of Lincoln Blogger.

Tootin' the Horn

Pop on over and say happy birthday to Sam, one of the biggest sweethearts on the planet.

What's my birthday gift to Sam? A big, "I was wrong. Thank God."

Roadside Diner

One more thing before I clear off the desk and skedaddle for the weekend...

I made Buckaroo Bonsai's Farookin' Favorite Salad last night. What's in it, you ask?

Portion size to your taste/appetite. Buckaroo Bonsai swears this could just about turn him vegetarian.

Don't forget the Carnival of the Recipes. And here's #68, as well.

Bus Fumes

Katie Couric is America's Sweetheart???

Gag. Me.

I miss me some Matt. And thank goodness for the Food Network, because I can get me some Al from time to time.

But I'm still on strike, and that ain't likely to change because I still mean every word of what I wrote back in 2003.

And, yes. I got my first and only Instalanche before I even had a blog. Figures.



(A tip of the cap to that saucy minx Maeve.)

Speaking of "Whoa!"... who hijacked Donnie's blog???

And another "Whoa!"

Your Animal Personality

Your Power Animal: Shark

Animal You Were in a Past Life: Polar Bear

You have a strong character - you are an aggressive, ambitious, go-getter.
You were born to lead.


Traveling Companions

Getting a picture of Tiger Boots is easy. She comes running when you get out the camera. She poses. She positively flirts with the camera...

Even The Interloper is a cooperative subject...

But The Divine Miss Marilyn (here in full "Rub my tummy, Mummy" mode) has a real aversion to the camera. She moves just as the shutter clicks. She closes her eyes. She ducks.

(I think she gets that from me.)


Don't miss The Friday Ark, hosted by The Modulator.

Also, the Carnival of the Cats will be up Sunday evening, over at When Cats Attack. Don't forget to check it out!

Road Conditions

I was in all these places last night. Where were you?



Book Your Ticket

A big 'ol Smoocheroo to Professor Bainbridge. He links me! He really links me! (Thanks for the kind words, Stephen.)

I've met Pejman in person, and he always makes sure you know he's of Persian heritage. He's inspired my latest reading challenge, "Reading Lolita in Tehran".

I'll post a review later, and it'll more than likely be more highbrow than my last review (i.e., the words "chapped my ass" will not be found this time). I'll give you a little taste of what I've found and appreciated so much already:
To think that the universities could be closed down seemed as far-fetched as the possibility that women would finally succumb to wearing the veil.
Good stuff.